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Apple in shock talks with Reg reader

'Dear Steve: iTunes for Windows is crap...'

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Apple has engaged in a shock conversation with a man who admits to reading The Register.

Last Friday, after noticing in these pages that Steve Jobs is actually reading and responding to messages from the outside world, Irish software developer Jason Croghan took it upon himself to email the Apple cult leader and inform him that iTunes for Windows is complete crap. But first, he appealed to the man's deepest pathologies by pointing out that Adobe Flash is complete crap too.

"Hi Steve," Croghan wrote. "While I completely agree and admire you on the subject of Flash being bloated and buggy, I think Apple need to get their own house in order first, especially in a related area.

"I understand Windows support isn't high on your agenda, but having an 80MB download for a tremendously bloated and slow interface for my iPhone isn't something I would be proud of. I'm a long time developer for a lot of platforms and I think iTunes for Windows really lets you down. It even makes me sad during my iPhone honeymoon period."

Jobs did not respond. Though it seems he's compelled to respond with his unique brand of reality distortion when someone questions his decision to ban translated code from the iPhone - or when someone simply points out that the H.264 codec is in no way open - criticism of an Apple Windows application doesn't cut to the heart of the cult leader in quite the same way.

But Croghan did receive a response from Steve Gedikian, the Jobsian minion charged with overseeing the iTunes for Windows product, widely-acknowledged as one of the worst pieces of code Apple has produced in many a year. Gedikian emailed Croghan two days later to say he'd like to speak on the phone, and he called later that day and chatted with the developer for a good half an hour. It wasn't just contact from the cult. The cult was asking for his opinion.

"It was unbelievable, really," Croghan tells The Reg. "He spent 30 minutes asking about iTunes in general, not just the things I had had problems with.

"I told him the graphical interface is slow. I told him the the way the music player is integrated with the app is silly-like. When I click on a music file, I want it to play. I don't want to wait for iTunes to do whatever it's doing. And he seemed to take it all down."

It's worth noting that Gedikian was recently elevated to his post as iTunes senior product manager - at least according to his LinkedIn profile. But it's also worth noting that according to countless stories down the years, an Apple employee's main objective to do whatever they believe Steve Jobs wants them to do. Gedikian told Croghan that Jobs himself had forwarded his email.

"Steve forwards on emails he thinks are interesting," Gedikian said.

In his email to the cult leader, Croghan didn't acknowledge that he reads The Reg. But he admitted as much to Gedikian - and in daring fashion, he asked that Apple pay us some respect. "I told him Apple should give The Reg more credit than they do. I told him The Reg has a huge reader base. I told him that the wit and the sarcasm is what we're looking for."

Apparently, Gedikian giggled. Then he said he'd pass the message on to Apple PR.

That's nice of you, Jason Croghan. But again, you must remember an Apple employee's main objective. Apparently, Steve Jobs has indicated he was less than pleased when we pointed out his inability to say the word Jaguar. ®

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